Sump Pumps & Back-Ups Here in the Kansas City area we receive excess rain sometimes; we have a typical rainy season, and floods (to include flash flooding) do occur in the area. Because of this it’s important to learn about the components of your plumbing system that helps your house combat the excess water. One of the most essential elements is the sump pump. A sump pump may be the homeowner’s first line of defense against water getting into the basement. Sump pumps are installed in basements in specially constructed sump pits. Sump pits are typically about two feet in diameter and can hold 15 to 25 gallons of water. When the water reaches a certain level the sump pump activates and lifts the water to ground level before leading it away from the house, keeping the basement dry in the process. Our Polestar plumbing experts recommend that homeowners should discharge sump water at least 20 feet from their home in a way that the water will drain away from the house. Most sump pumps turn on automatically through a pressure sensor. When water exerts more pressure on the sensor than air does the sensor activates, thus leading to the removal of the excess water. There are typically two types of sump pumps used: pedestal and submersible. The pedestal model has the motor on top and the pump at the base, which sits on the bottom of the sump. The motor is out of the water and should be kept dry. Submersible pumps rest completely in the water. They’re encased in a waterproof housing, with the pump itself at the bottom and the outlet pipe near the top. There are some differences between the two. Pedestal pumps last almost twice as long typically as submersible pumps. However, submersible pumps can take much more debris without clogging. Pedestal pumps are typically much louder than submersible pumps, but are also normally cheaper too. Back-Up Sump Pumps Lastly, what will happen when the storm that dumps two inches of rainwater also knocks out your electricity? As we know all too well here in Kansas City these things happen, so it’s important to have a battery-backup sump pump as well. We at Polestar feel that a back-up sump pump for your primary sump pump is a necessity. If your main pump fails, or you are without electrical service for an extended period of time, a battery back-up sump pump will protect your basement from flooding. This backup system should be tested regularly, as it could deteriorate from disuse and fail to work properly in case of emergency. Also, people who travel regularly should have the backup pump primed to go in case of emergency and they happen to not be home. Here at Polestar we are more than happy to test your battery backup and recommend that it be checked yearly, same as your first-line sump pump. Polestar can quickly assess and repair or replace the sump pump in your home if needed. Like any equipment with moving parts, sump pumps also have a limited life expectancy. The average life of a sump pump is about 5 - 7 years. It is imperative that you test your sump pump annually. Polestar's professional plumbers have the ability to test and inspect your sump pump. We also do sump pump installations as well. Call us at (913) 432-3342 to set up an appointment.